Gene Lopez

Edgar Howard

Gene Lopez and Edgar Howard both taught Mathematics at San Diego State for over 30 years.  Both also were held in high esteem, as evidenced by comments from students, and by the awards for teaching excellence that each received.  In their memory, the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences is establishing

The Gene Lopez and Edgar Howard Memorial Fund

Donations to this fund will be used only to enhance the sense of community of our undergraduate and graduate majors.  We feel that this is especially appropriate as a memorial to Gene and Edgar since each of them contributed significantly to the “mathematical culture” of our students.  It is our hope that with the aid of these funds, future students will be encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Gene and Edgar and inspire others to pursue Mathematics as a career. Donations should be sent to Memorial Fund, Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego CA 92182-7720. Checks should be made payable to: Campanile Foundation, with a memo to the “Lopez-Howard Memorial Fund“.

Gene Lopez was born in 1926 and grew up in La Verne, California during the Great Depression.  After serving in the army during World War II, he earned a scholarship to attend The University of California at Los Angeles.  After earning his B.S. in Mathematics in 1951, Gene went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Mathematics from UCLA in 1961, under the supervision of Magnus Hestenes. Gene came to the Mathematics Department at San Diego State University in 1961.  He was a gentle man whose quiet demeanor seemed to captivate students during his lectures.  His classes were often on a list of most popular in the University, a distinction which is unusual for Mathematics courses.  He won the TRW Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999.  Gene retired from teaching in the Spring of 2000.

Edgar Howard was born March 4, 1932 and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  At the age of 19 he joined the Marine Corps and served as a radio operator during the Korean War.  (His elbow makes a short but significant appearance in the movie “Battle Cry.”)  After his service, he returned to San Diego, where he had gone through basic training, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics (1959) and a Master’s degree in Mathematics (1961) at San Diego State University.  He then went into the Ph.D. program in Mathematics at New Mexico State University.  On earning his Doctorate in 1964, Edgar spent two years at Idaho State University and in 1966 he became Assistant Professor of Mathematics at San Diego State University.  He rose to the rank of Professor, and he retired in 1997.  Edgar was a very fine teacher of Mathematics.  He was named Most Influential Faculty Member by the outstanding graduating Math major 3 times.  Additionally, he directed numerous Master’s theses.